Sioux Falls, S.D. – The Memphis Hustle (26-15) dropped a 120-112 decision against the Sioux Falls Skyforce Saturday night inside Sanford Pentagon. The teams split the regular season series and tonight’s game marked the fourth straight loss for Memphis.
The game was back-and-forth throughout and featured 20 lead changes and 12 ties. Sioux Falls led 102-100 at the 5:50 mark, but a quick 6-0 run pushed the lead to eight. Phil Cofer responded on the next possession, but Gabe Vincent’s three-pointer at the 4:05 mark gave the Skyforce a nine-point lead and Memphis would come no closer than five the rest of the way.
Both teams finished above the 50 percent mark for the game, but Memphis’ woes from long range continued, shooting just 25.0 percent (7-28 3P) while Sioux Falls knocked down its threes at a 47.2 percent clip (17-36 3P).
Memphis shot 65.0 percent from the field (13-20 FG) in the first quarter, but still trailed 32-29 after the period. The Hustle missed all five three-point attempts while Sioux Falls shot 5-of-8 (.625) in the period to manage the lead. Jarrett Jack had 16 of his game-high 31 points in the period on 7-of-9 shooting. In the second, the Hustle’s shooting display took a dip (.400) but the team committed zero turnovers and forced five from Sioux Falls to tie the game up at 60-60 going into the break.
The Hustle started the second half on a 9-0 run, but Sioux Falls responded with three-pointers on their next three possessions to tie the game right back up. A Shaq Buchanan three-pointer and Dusty Hannahs layup promptly pushed Memphis back to a five-point lead, but Sioux Falls would again match. Neither team led by more than four the rest of the period and the margin rarely got above two as the Skyforce took an 87-86 lead into the fourth.
Hannahs and Ahmad Caver led the way for Memphis with 23 points each. Buchanan finished with his fourth straight double-double, posting 19 points and 10 rebounds. In his first start with the Hustle, Cofer poured in 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Marquis Teague (11 points) and Venky Jois (10 points) each finished in double figures.
Jack also added seven assists and six rebounds on 13-of-20 shooting to go with his scoring total. Angel Delgado tallied 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Davon Reed and Jacobi Boykins had 14 points apiece. Vincent scored 13 points off the bench while Marcus Lee had 12 points on an efficient 6-of-7 from the field.
The Hustle will resume action Friday, January 13 against the College Park Skyhawks inside Gateway Center Arena at 6 p.m. CT. The Hustle return home to continue a previously halted game from Nov. 15 against the Iowa Wolves on Sunday, March 15 at 1 p.m. inside FedExForum, with free admission included. The two teams will play at Landers Center the next night at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available starting at $10 each and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.